Education Museum Buildings

Art inspired by technology

The Museum's Kohl’s Art Generation Studio doors. Frosted at left, clear at right!

The Kohl’s Art Generation Studio has some very nifty doors.  They appear to be frosted glass, until you flip a light switch and *click* they are clear.  How do they work?!? Here is a full scientific explanation, thanks to the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

At the flip of a switch “the material is subjected to an electric field, electro-optic reorientation of the liquid crystal droplets occurs. This then reduces the degree of optical scattering through the cell, giving rise to a transparent state.”

In other words, the electronic current brings the droplets from a scattered state into straight lines, and you can see through the glass.

Artists Aaron Koblin, Nik Hafermaas, and Dan Goods, inspired by this same PLCD technology, recently installed a beautiful artwork in the San Jose airport called the eCloud.

Come see the frosted/clear doors in action – and make some of your own art inspired by technology -in Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio!

Janet Gourley is the Education and Programs Department Administrator at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Her workday is spent facilitating programs, maintaining department attendance statistics, and knowing how to answer any and all questions about the Museum’s educational programs.

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